Friday, August 26, 2016

The subdued 'Cuba for Ana Belen Montes' campaign

The subdued 'Cuba for Ana Belen Montes' campaign
MAYKEL GONZÁLEZ VIVERO | Sagua la Grande | 26 de Agosto de 2016 - 14:21

Timorous, but vehement; diminished, in spite of itself, the clemency
campaign for Ana Belén Montes promises to prove more strident than the
preceding one: she's a woman, was not even born in Cuba, and turned out
to be an extremely efficient spy, the Pentagon's nemesis.

Her colleagues, "the Five," spied on Cuban-American organizations in
Florida. She, the ultimate specialist, the great oracle of the Defense
Intelligence Agency (DIA), passed through the White House like water
through my house. But nobody is talking about her three-decade
imprisonment, in my home, or anyone else's. In fact, no major Cuban
media source has dedicated her any coverage.

"At the end of last year in Cuba a committee for solidarity with her was
created," reveals Julián Gutierrez Alonso, coordinator of the Network of
Universities in Solidarity with the Five, "and they asked me to
participate. In this way we created what is called 'Cuba for Ana Belén
Montes.'We don't classify it as a group or as a movement; we're just
people who need to talk about the case, to make it known."

"This case is nothing at all like that of the Five. It's very
different," Julián recognizes. "First off, the Five were Cubans;
secondly, they infiltrated groups that did not represent the US
Government. Montes's case is different: she was within the Government,
and reported on actions that would be taken against Cuba. And she is an
American of Puerto Rican origin. Those are essential differences. Her
family includes members of the FBI, her father was a military doctor;
her family, in general, considers her a traitor. She does not want there
to be a broad movement, as she wants to protect her family."

The first public act I attended for the freedom of Ana Belén Montes,
held at a little schoolhouse in the country, drew groups from all over
the Island. I thought that they would talk about something else.
Suddenly, the campaign began.

"I'm a friend of René González," announced a retired university
professor. "She sent me an email asking me to visit a website and sign a
petition for the freedom of Ana Belén Montes. At that point I took an
interest in her case. On my own initiative, without anyone telling me
to, I approached my department and told them that I wanted to create a
committee of solidarity with Ana Belén Montes, explaining to them who
she was and why we had to fight. We started in January."

Olania Rodríguez Peña organized the third group of solidarity created in

"There was one in Havana, and another in Holguín," she explains. We all
contributed to the international letter that was sent to Obama. We
signed it as the Committee of Solidarity with Ana Belén Montes."

"According to her cousin, Ana has asked that the response to the Five
not be imitated." In this Olania coincides with Julian. This seems to be
the common, unofficial position.

"She fears for her family in Miami," explains Olania. "This has averted
major publicity regarding the case. We assume that Cuba is doing
something to secure her release. Meanwhile, civil society is taking action."

"Cuba for Ana Belen Montes" could be the prelude to a large-scale
campaign, perhaps another national political activism endeavor. Their
line of discourse depends on very timely topics: actions by civil
society, with people who organize and work on their own, and even
conciliatory developments in relations between Cuba and the US. With
these prospects, the emerging crusade has reached out to more than 8,000
people, forming part of a laborious information distribution effort
administrated by the Network of Universities ....

"If we compare the words of Ana Belén with what Obama said," argues
Julián Gutiérrez, "anyone can see that they are talking the same way. In
this regard she cooperated so that relations between the Island and its
neighbor could enter a new stage. What did Obama say? That he came to
Cuba to end the Cold War. And that's what Ana Montes did too."

And thus, among blurry arguments, calculated prudence and discursive
stratagems, the campaign continues that could soon shape – depending on
political needs - the island's media landscape.

Source: The subdued 'Cuba for Ana Belen Montes' campaign | Diario de
Cuba -

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